Pet Care Blog

By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Sunday, 7 July 2019 2:31 PM
It’s hard to believe we’ve passed the half way mark of 2019 already! Time flies when you’re having fun, that’s for sure!

This month we’re going to tackle the topic of gastrointestinal tract diseases. If you’ve been reading our previous years blogs, you’ll see that a couple years ago we did a story on one of our nurses dog’s Willis, who is a garbage guts and needed emergency surgery to remove foreign objects in his stomach that he thought were delicious to eat! This time, we are going to look at the different types of conditions that can make our pet’s stomachs and intestinal tracts upset. There are many different disorders that can affect our furry friends, so grab yourself a hot Milo and get comfy!

Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and diseases affect our pet's stomach and intestines, resulting in pain and other problems. The first signs you’ll see from them include

Vomiting Diarrhoea or Constipation Regurgitation Lethargy Weakness Excessive drooling Loss of appetite Abdominal...
By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Thursday, 4 July 2019 2:27 PM
Medical issues such as obesity have a direct impact on how your pet feels and therefore how he/she behaves. Overweight pets tire easily and can be grumpy due to fatigue or aches and pains, which are a direct result of excess weight. Joint pain is common in obese pets and can lead to pain induced aggression.  

Obesity is often due to what is being fed, than how much is being fed. Most people do not deliberately over feed their pets. Rather, they feed small pieces of foods and treats containing high levels of carbohydrate, fat and additives. Which is the equivalent to us eating unhealthy fast food and lots of additive filled sweets.

Some dogs are naturally greedy and some even become food obsessed. These dogs often beg for treats or take any opportunity to steal tasty high calorie foods. High calorie treats are ideal for teaching and reinforcing desired behaviour. However, giving your pet small high calorie treats when ‘begging’ or allowing them to steal high calorie foods also reinforces this unwanted behaviour.

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By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Friday, 28 June 2019 2:14 PM
Teaching old dogs new tricks

The phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is definitely not true!! Although set in their ways, old dogs are having to learn new tricks regularly as their health deteriorates and routines change. For example, as an old dog loses his/her hearing or vision, he/she will learn to ‘listen’ or ‘hear’ in other ways, like hand signals and body gestures. Or as arthritis sets in, your dog will learn new daily routes around the house and yard that are easier for him/her.  

When training puppies, their brains are designed to absorb knowledge and experiences. You are starting their training with a ‘blank slate’, so they come across easier to train and more eager to learn than an older dog.

Often a dog’s ‘bad habits’ are learned from previous repetitions being rewarded or not being corrected. When teaching alternate behaviours that you would rather your dog be doing, it may take as long as what your dog has been doing the unwanted behaviour, for the new behaviour...
By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Saturday, 1 June 2019 3:36 PM
Hello everyone!  - the clinic has been a busy place with both pets and the renovations happening in the client waiting room! | How cold is it getting now though? It’s definitely getting chilly now- and I bet some of our older pets are starting to feel it.

Do you have a pet who is 7 years or older? Did you know that dogs and cats are considered a senior pet from the age of 7?  As our pets grow old it is important that we give them a little extra love and care, as their bodies and immune systems are not what they used to be. Simple day to day things like; a good diet, gentle and regular exercise, comfort and warmth during the cooler months and disease prevention will help your pet live a long and happy life.

Here are some things to think about with your senior pet to help keep them comfortable...
By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 10:38 AM
Winter, with its cooler days and chilly nights, are particularly difficult for those suffering from arthritis. Your pet can suffer from arthritis in the same way as we do, even from a young age. It is tricky to tell if your pet is suffering from arthritis, especially if he/she still runs around like a young pup/kitten. Unfortunately, your pet is unable to communicate with words that he/she may be in discomfort due to arthritis and we therefore only notice when the arthritis has become more severe. However, you may be able to notice some subtle signs, with changes in your pet’s behaviour, so you can start supportive treatments early. 

Signs that your pet may be exhibiting:

Limping:

Your pet may limp or favour one or more of his/her legs, depending on where the arthritis is effecting. This limp may seem worse when your pet first rises and become less noticeable as your pet “warms up” by moving around.

Difficulty moving:

Your pet may also become reluctant to do things that were previously easy for him/her to accomplish. For example - your dog may find it difficult to get into and out of the car or may have difficulty going up and down stairs that were previously easily manageable. Arthritic cats may stop jumping onto countertops, perches and other high areas because of the pain and discomfort.

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By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Thursday, 4 April 2019 12:52 PM
Do you find yourself yelling at your dog for doing things you don’t want him/her to do? Does your dog test your patience? To help avoid certain unwanted behaviours continuing, aim to set your dog up to succeed, by providing an error free environment. This way your dog will learn faster and your training will be more successful.

Dogs learn best through consistency and repetition. However, they are not great at generalising behaviours. You may have noticed that your dog will sit well in the kitchen for a treat, but when asked to sit when on a walk he/she just looks at you confused.

If you know your dog has not mastered a command in a quiet environment, it is pointless asking him/her to comply in an environment filled with distractions. For example asking your dog to ‘come’ while at the dog park, filled with other dogs, people and wildlife, when he/she has not mastered the recall in the quiet confines of your backyard. This is setting your dog up to fail and is often the reason why you may be getting...
By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Friday, 15 March 2019 12:15 PM
Dog behaviour whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’ largely comes down to the way in which the dog has been communicated with. Correct communication is the best tool to strengthen your relationship with your dog. As humans, we often over complicate communication with our dog by chatting away to them like they are a fellow human, expecting our dog to understand. We need to remember that we have a complex verbal language. By recognising this, you can choose to communicate with your dog in a more effective way and in turn be rewarded for your efforts with a well behaved dog.

Often when your dog does not do as he/she is asked, you think he/she is choosing not to comply or ignoring you. It is simply that your dog does not fully understand the language that you are choosing to communicate with. Your dog’s ‘bad’ behaviour is usually the result of stress or frustration from his/her inability to understand and communicate with you.

Consider how dogs communicate with each other - mainly through body language. When your...
By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Friday, 1 March 2019 12:01 PM
Are you planning on adding a new four-legged member to your family, and want a well-behaved one? Well make yourself a cup of coffee and get nice and comfy, because this blog has been written for you….

With this month’s focus being about pet behaviour, we thought it would be a good time to focus on the most important time in a puppy’s life- when you want them to learn about how to be a well behaved and polite pup!

Starting off on the right paw!

Good behaviour starts even before you have chosen your new companion: it starts with you!

 We have come up with some tips below that you may find helpful to get you started on the right track!

Be sure to pick an appropriate breed for your family and life style – Undesirable behaviours often arise from pets being kept in the wrong environment. Research the breeds you are interested in and what they were originally bred for. This will give you a good idea of how much exercise they will need, how much grooming they will require,...
By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Sunday, 10 February 2019 2:09 PM
Now that summer is in full swing, our worst outdoor enemy is back! I’m sure you all know who I am talking about... Yes, that’s right... Mosquitoes! They ruin barbecues, buzz around your ears, steal your blood and leave behind a red and itchy mark. We all know mosquitoes are extremely annoying creatures, but did you know that they are potentially deadly to our four-legged family members too? These pesky creatures carry countless dangerous diseases to humans, and can carry and transmit diseases between our pets. In particular, the deadly parasite known as heartworm.



What is Heartworm?

As its name suggests, heartworm is a worm-like parasite that is found in the heart of both our kitty and pooch friends. Many people mistake Heartworm as a type of intestinal worm, but don’t be fooled! Heartworm significantly differs from all other worms and is the most dangerous type due to its fatal...
By Murray Bridge Vet Clinic on Monday, 4 February 2019 12:10 PM
Monthly Behaviour Tip

Your dog loves you unconditionally… even when you yell at him/her, or accidently step on his/her toes. It is hard for your dog (and you) when you have to leave him/her at home. Most dogs cope fine with their owner leaving, even though they show those ‘puppy eyes’. However, a select few become distressed when separated from you. Separation anxiety starts when your dog anticipates your impending departure. As you are getting ready to leave (or even through the day as you moving around the house, away from your dog), you may notice your dog panting, drooling, pacing, whining, shadowing you and/or self-licking. Once gone, your dog will try everything to get out and find you. Displaying behaviours like barking/howling, house or yard destruction (mostly around doors/other exits), urinating and defecating around the house, and an excessive greeting when you return. Please note, that if your dog suffers from separation anxiety, he/she has no control over this behaviour. Separation anxiety most likely is due to a combination of genetics (with some dog breeds being more prone to fearfulness and anxiety) and previous experiences. It is a condition that needs to be treated. Unfortunately, your dog will not just get over it or outgrow it. If left untreated it will get worse. Punishing your dog (including shock or spray collars) will intensify the behaviour....

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Our comprehensive emergency service offers a veterinarian on call 24 hours every day of the year.

Telephone 0885 314 000 when the clinic is closed to hear a recorded message and directions to speak to a staff member.

Always phone first before rushing to the clinic with an injured animal or other emergency. An additional fee is charged outside normal clinic hours.